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A Guide to Finding the Best Boat Names

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Every special boat deserves a unique name.

Every special boat deserves a unique name.

Choosing a Name for Your Boat

You have just found your perfect boat. It has everything you could wish for and more. It's practically shouting, "Buy me, buy me!"

"Wait a minute," you say. "I could never own a boat with a name like that!"

Alas, naming or renaming a boat is not a task to be taken lightly; it requires thought and careful consideration. Your vessel's name may reflect the type of boat it is or something personal to you, or even a mix of the two. Let's take a look at some possible names for different kinds of boats.

Speed Boat Names

If you have a speedboat or a racing sailboat, you may want to opt for a name that is synonymous with speed. This could be something that not only sounds fast but puts fear in your opponent's mind. Let's imagine there's a boat called "Sunshine Seeker" racing against a boat with the name "Greased Lightning." Where would you put your money if betting on a winner?

In the end, it's all about the ability to maneuver a boat at speed and how powerful the engine(s) are, but having a speedy-sounding name and a slick appearance never hurts. Consider these examples of suitable names for this type of boat:

  • Lickety Split
  • Greased Lightning
  • Flying Lady (notably from a Rolls Royce)
  • Blew By Ya
  • Bookin
  • Breaking Waves
  • Rebel
  • Wake-Up Call
  • Bad Boy
  • Banshee
  • Razor's Edge
  • Renegade
  • Lic-a-dee-Split
  • Silver Bullet
  • Terminator

Imagine your adversary's face as you go racing past and into the lead. The last thing he'll see is your boat's name on the stern as it fades into the distance. Satisfying.

Sailing

Sailing

Sailboat Names

There are two types of sailing—racing and cruising. You may want to see the names for speed boats above for those who own racers or fast cruisers. For pleasure sailing, you'll find suitable names below. Not surprisingly, the word 'wind' and also types of clouds frequently appear.

  • Summer Wind
  • Second Wind
  • Wind Dancer
  • Tailwinds
  • Ocean Breeze
  • Peaceful Wind
  • Sailing Free
  • Sails Call
  • Sail Away
  • Cirrus
  • Nimbus
  • Sirocco

You can almost picture the wind filling the sails and hear the water splashing against the bow. These have a calming and soothing effect.

Foreign Names for Boats

The use of foreign names has always been a popular choice, especially among those who want to appear well-traveled or wish to conjure up a desire for world travel. If you're only going to use your boat for cruising in English-speaking areas, perhaps these aren't for you.

  • Carpe Diem (Seize the Day or Seas the Day)
  • La Bella Vita (The Beautiful Life)
  • Ohana (Hawaiian term for extended family)
  • Whãnau (Maori term for extended family)
  • Adagio (Slow Tempo)
  • Adios (Goodbye)
  • Tchau or Ciao (Goodbye)
  • Saudade (longing or missing someone or something)
Fishing boats

Fishing boats

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Fishing Boat Names

If you're picking a name for a fishing boat, you have many options. Whether the vessel is for charter or personal use, you can select terms associated with fishing tackle or simply the pleasure of fishing.

If you offer a boat charter business, the name should reflect the image you are trying to project. No one wants to go luxury cruising on a boat called "Bait Master," but if they are chartering the boat for fishing, it's a great name.

  • Gone Fishin'
  • Catchin' Dinner
  • Avid Angler
  • Bait Master
  • Reel World
  • Bigger Game
  • Reel Deal
  • Reel Satisfaction
  • Kingfisher
  • Reel-Nauti
  • Fishin' Magician
  • Heron
  • Pelican
  • Reelaxing
  • How could you not catch the big one with names like these?

Humorous Boat Names

I personally love seeing a boat with a humorous name. To me, it says the people inside are fun people; they are enjoying themselves and not concerned with what other people think about them or their boat. Here are a few of my favorite examples.

  • Broke but Afloat
  • Called in Sick
  • Going Seanile
  • Your Place Oar Mine
  • What's up Dock
  • Sleeping With Oars
  • Loon-A-Sea
  • Sails Call
  • Rockhopper
  • Vagabond
Anchored in a tranquil bay

Anchored in a tranquil bay

Relaxing Names for Boats

There is a fast-growing number of boats with names that conjure up pleasant, relaxing thoughts. The idea of sailing away and taking a break from the real world while leaving your problems onshore is a lovely one.

Below are a few suggestions.

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Solitude
  • Mental Floss
  • Placid
  • Escape
  • Solitude
  • Serenity
  • Whisper
  • Dreamweaver
  • Stress Less
  • Kindred Spirit

You can almost feel the pressure of a landlocked life floating away as you cast off the bowlines, leaving your problems on the shore.

There are also many boat names related to alcohol, which can be fun as long as you don't draw unwanted attention from the port authorities. For some people, boating and alcohol seem to go together. Here are a few choice names.

  • Three Sheets
  • J & B
  • Kahlúa
  • Beeracuda
  • Shaken not Stirred
  • Comfortably Numb
  • On the Rocks (ideally your drink and not your boat)
  • Wine Down
  • Sip & Dip
  • Sundowners
  • 100 Proof
The Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark

Mythological Boat Names

Many people prefer to use a name from Greek mythology. Below are a few of the more popular ones.

  • Phaedra (Bright)
  • Adonis (God of Beauty and Desire)
  • Pegasus (The Flying Horse)
  • Poseidon (God of the Sea)
  • Zephyr (God of the West Wind)
  • Boreas (God of the North Wind)
  • Eurus (God of the East Wind)
  • Notus (God of the South Wind)
  • Odyssey (Epic Voyage)
Yachts in a harbor

Yachts in a harbor

Is It Bad Luck to Rename Your Boat?

The process of renaming a boat is rife with superstition. When trading was done, mainly by ships, each had a reputation. When a vessel arrived in port, it was welcomed, because the locals had developed a relationship with the traders aboard. If a ship changed its name, it was treated with suspicion until it had built up a good reputation.

How to Perform a Boat-Naming Ceremony

If you have purchased a boat and you truly cannot live with the name, you must do the following:

  • Remove everything that has the ship's previous name. Don't forget to check the key chains, life preservers, and paperwork. Stickers with the name may come off with a special cleaner that removes adhesive. Otherwise, you can use a scraper.
  • Notify the Coast Guard of the name change and provide proper documentation
  • Make a speech. Inform the Gods and the boat, of the name change. Splash champagne across the hull. There is no need to smash a bottle on the boat.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Could you please help me come up with a name for my boat? It has to incorporate Pizza. I own a pizza place.

Answer: One idea would be to start with the words, 'piece of' and replace those with pizza. For example, "pizza heaven", "pizza paradise".

Question: Can you help us with a boat name for a pontoon? My husband is retired; USN Sr. Chief, he now works for the Federal Aviation Administration flying over airports to inspect them. We love to putz around our lake, swim and have a few drinks. Our last name is Morehouse. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Answer: Hi,

Thanks for your question. Here are a few ideas for you:

Fun afloat

Chill time

Happy Ours

Water Haven

Time flies by

Memory Maker

Cruise Mission

I tried some anagrams of your surname but nothing seemed suitable. I thought about 'Houseless' but that seemed too close to 'homeless' which you aren't.

Question: We are want to somehow name our boat in memory of our daughter who died of cancer when she was 10 years old. Her name is Rayanne Marion Dorgan. Would you have any ideas?

Answer: I think Rayanne would be a wonderful name for your boat.

Question: What can I name my boat that has something to do with golf or landscaping?

Answer: See if any of these suit your needs: 19th Hole, stroke of luck, or off course. For landscaping, "no more weeding", Eden, Flora, Jardine. Do any of those appeal?

Question: Could you help with a name for our new fishing/pleasure boat? My husband is a retired fireman, last name is Sloan and we love Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Answer: I'll have to pass on the Lynyrd Skynyrd angle. Regrading the firefighting angle, how about Code 4 or knot on call.

Question: How do I find the meaning of a boat's name?

Answer: Your best bet would be ask the owner. If it is a play on words, it's not always understandable straightaway. If it is a foreign word, you can Google it and you'll get a translation.

© 2012 Mary Wickison

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